Back in 2009, I wrote a blog post called, “I suggest bloggers kill the word kill in subject lines,” in which I repeated my long-held pet rant about the use of the hyphenated -kill or -killer by bloggers and tech-writers.
In the post, I wrote:
“In the world of tech writing, the word kill seems to refer to forms of mysterious market-share metrics that rarely matter in the big scheme of things. Or, it refers to the mere suggestion that a competition for some metric may be taking place. As KILL should mean death-inducing blow, I wish tech bloggers, pundits and others could come up with a word other than KILL to describe fascinating forms of competition that mean little to the bottomline.”
Yesterday, at a Consumer Reports event reported on by Fast Company, Jeff Bezos was asked if Amazon is going to introduce an “iPad-killer”. Bezos used the opportunity to express his dislike of the hyphenated -killer term, also:
“Most business is not usually like a sporting event,” he said. “It’s very common to read blog or newspaper headlines, and the words “X Killer” is very, very common. I assume because it works–it must get more clicks.” But in real life, he added, industries usually rise and fall together. When it comes to competing products, however, success isn’t always so black and white. “In a sporting event, there really is a winner and a loser,” Bezos explained. “I think in business people use that metaphor–the sporting event metaphor is ingrained in us. Any kind of new product introduction, probably the company is not hoping to completely kill any other company,” he said. “They’re hoping they can be part of something big.”
While I doubt he’ll be a -killer-killer, I like that he’s using his lofty bully pulpit to provide some rants against the term.
Related: By the way, in a 2009 post, I wrote (scroll down) why the (at the time, still rumored iPad) would not be a “Kindle Killer.”